Author: Drew Silva

Steven Matz
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Steven Matz has right side stiffness


We can’t go a week without some Mets panic?

Per beat writer Mike Puma of the New York Post, rookie starter Steven Matz woke up with stiffness on the right side of his back Tuesday and could have to be scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Phillies. Logan Verrett would jump ahead a spot.

The important thing is Matz should be able to return Thursday and remains on track to serve as the Mets’ fourth starter in the playoffs. “It’s one of those things where you wake up and I just slept wrong or something, so I’m just being precautionary about it,” the young left-hander told Puma on Tuesday afternoon.

Matz, 24, boasts a 2.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts over his first 35 2/3 major league frames.

Dodgers hope Yasiel Puig can return for NLCS

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Via Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles

While the Los Angeles Dodgers have all but ruled out Yasiel Puig for their first-round playoff series against the New York Mets, the outfielder will continue to work out in Arizona with an eye toward being activated in time for the National League Championship Series, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Puig has been on the shelf since August 27 with a strained right hamstring and was only running at about 70 percent strength as of this weekend. He also missed 38 games earlier this year with a strained left hamstring.

The Dodgers are lined up to take on the Mets in the best-of-five NLDS. There isn’t a breezy first-round matchup in the National League, but this one looks especially tough for Los Angeles.

We might not see Puig again until 2016.

Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon got into a fight in the Nationals dugout

Bryce Harper
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Nationals were officially eliminated from postseason play on Saturday when the Mets beat the Reds in Cincinnati to clinch the NL East title. On Sunday, things in Washington went from bad to worse.

Bryce Harper began exchanging words with Jonathan Papelbon on his way back into the Nationals’ dugout after a lazy flyout to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning. The two then had a physical confrontation, with multiple Nationals players and coaches having to step in to break it up.

Papelbon was the one who made it physical. This picture shows him putting Harper, the soon-to-be NL MVP, into a chokehold …

The full scene, via

Harper was removed from the 4-4 game by Nationals manager Matt Williams. Papelbon came back out for the top of the ninth after securing the final out in the top of the eighth. He allowed a two-run homer to Andres Blanco in the ninth, giving the last-place Phillies a 6-4 lead at Nationals Park.